Key Moments

A Brief History of Waukesha

1834

First Settlers arrive - Morris and Alonzo Culter, H. Luther, J. Manderville, and Isaac and Richard Smart.

1837

First school, Tamarack School, opened

1839

Name changed from Prairie Village to Prairieville

1846

Name changed to Waukesha from Prairieville. Carroll College chartered.

1851

Milwaukee/Mississippi RR arrived in Waukesha, first in state.

1852

Incorporated as the Village of Waukesha. First election of Waukesha Village Officers

1862

Stephen Weber starts West Hill Brewery (Weber's Brewery)

1868

Colonel Richard Dunbar proclaims he was cured of diabetes by drinking water of Bethesda Spring, beginning the Springs Era

1879

White Rock Steamer starts trips on Fox River

1882

First telephones in use at H.M. Youman's Freeman Office

1883

Freeman published first directory of telephone subscribers

1891

Electric lights replace gas streetlights

1896

Waukesha is incorporated as a City and the first Mayor, John Brehm, is elected

1899

Dedication of Waukesha High School

1902

City acquired first park, Cutler Park

1911

Waukesha celebrates the Centennial anniversary of its founding

1915

Lester Polsfuss (Les Paul) born over his father's garage on North Street

1926

Volunteer Fire Department disbanded, a fully paid Department of 17 men established

1930

Former Waukesha Municipal Hospital becomes City Hall

1934

Waukesha celebrates the Centennial anniversary of its founding

1944

USS Waukesha launched

1949

$88,500 stolen from First National Band - recovered in Frame Park - mystery never solved.

1957

Waukesha South High School Campus opened

1959

Waukesha celebrates 125th Anniversary of its founding

1962

Land for Saratoga Sports Complex purchased

1965

New City Hall built adjacent to former City Hall

1966

The Fire Department took over all ambulance calls in the City

1975

Waukesha North High School opened

1983

State Office Building built in Waukesha

1984

Waukesha celebrates the Sesquicentennial anniversary of its founding

1993

Waukesha West High School opens

1995

Frame Park re-opened after complete makeover

2009

Les Paul dies and is buried at the City's Prairie Home Cemetery

2013

City sets a Guiness World Record for the number of Christmas carolers

2021

Celebration of the City's 125th Anniversary since incorporation as a City and the opening of the new City Hall.

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